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c h a p t e r o n e The New Anatomy, the Lungs, and Respiration 1.1 Changing Anatomical Horizons The middle decades of the seventeenth century witnessed major changes in the methods of anatomical investigation and profound transformations in the understanding of the body. The works by Aselli and Harvey introduced subtle shifts in the way vivisection was carried out; these shifts became more established and were developed in the ensuing investigations of the 1640s and 1650s on the circulation of the blood, the thoracic duct, and the lymphatics. Although microscopy and injections had been applied to anatomy in the past, from the 1660s they took a more prominent role on the anatomical stage in a number of areas, starting from Malpighi’s first publication, the 1661 Epistolae on the lungs. We shall move from the relations among anatomical apprenticeship, techniques of investigation, results attained, and philosophical views in the first half of this chapter to the structure of the lungs and the problem of respiration in the second half. With regard to the lungs, major questions arise on the differences between Borelli and Malpighi at Pisa and Bologna on the one hand and Hooke and Lower at Oxford and London on the other. Traditionally, Malpighi’s Epistolae have been studied as a striking example of his application of microscopy to anatomy and, to a lesser extent, of his reliance on mercury injections. Besides dissection, however, Malpighi also used vivisection, a technique he had learned in Bologna, and chymical analysis. Relying on his atomistic standpoint and experiments at the Accademia del Cimento, Borelli denied any role to color as providing information on a substance. As a result of these views, Borelli and Malpighi ignored color change in blood in the presence of air and in respiration. Whereas Malpighi visualized microscopic structures and motions as a way to understand the purpose of the lungs, Lower and Hooke challenged Malpighi’s views on the purpose of respiration and sought to grasp the mode of operation of the lungs and pinpoint the site of color change in blood through vivisection, eschewing structural investigations. Their work provides an instructive anatomical and philo- 32 The Rise of Mechanistic and Microscopic Anatomy sophical contrast to Malpighi’s and Borelli’s approach: not only were techniques such as vivisection, microscopy, injections, and chymical analysis used differently, but the philosophical underpinnings of the investigations differed too. The following two sections take the lead from Malpighi’s training at Bologna and Pisa to investigate the issue of anatomical apprenticeship among his contemporaries. Section 1.2, on Malpighi’s training at Bologna, compares the Coro anatomico with the Collegium privatum of Amsterdam and then moves on to document the revival of vivisection in the middle decades of the seventeenth century in the works by Aselli, Harvey, and their followers, such as Walaeus and Pecquet. Section 1.3 uses Malpighi’s philosophical apprenticeship at Pisa and his friendship with Borelli to investigate the rise of microscopic anatomy and the role of the new philosophy. Section 1.4 looks at how this background played out in Malpighi’s first publication, the 1661 Epistolae on the lungs. I study his techniques of investigations and Borelli’s role in advising him and interpreting his anatomical findings, neglecting the role of color. Lastly, section 1.5 takes a broader look at the problem of respiration with special emphasis on the English scene. Thomas Bartholin reissued Malpighi’s Epistolae in 1663, giving them a broader European circulation. Further, the Bibliotheca anatomica included them in a large section on the thorax including also Harvey’s De motu cordis et sanguinis, Malachi Thruston’s De respirationis usu primario, Lower’s De corde, and several other treatises and excerpts on the heart and lungs. Bartholin’s edition and the Bibliotheca anatomica provide us with valuable information on how texts circulated and were read. In this large body of literature I focus on the work by Thruston, which is especially relevant here because he tried to replicate Malpighi’s microscopic observations, and Lower, who refuted Malpighi. 1.2 Malpighi’s Bologna Apprenticeship: Anatomical Venues and Vivisection In 1653 Malpighi gained his degree in philosophy and medicine from Bologna University . The double degree was standard at the time and testifies to the profound link between the two disciplines. Malpighi mentions among his medical and philosophical sources the professors of medicine Caspar Hofmann at Altdorf and Andrea Cesalpino at Pisa and the philosophers Francesco Buonamici...


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